The Kent School District’s 2017-2018 school year is about to begin. Today was the first of two professional days for teachers, ahead of Thursday, the first day of school at Meadow Ridge Elementary, where I teach 5th grade.
Today was also “Meet the Teacher” night. 15 of my 25 students showed – with mothers, brothers, fathers, cousins, aunts, friends and uncles. The students demonstrated an array of emotions – excitement, nervousness, trepidation and eagerness. For some, a new school. For all, a new teacher.
For me, back at it, for the first time in nearly 10 years, as a teacher beginning the school year, after coming home to education last November.
Putting faces and personalities to names was a true delight, as was welcoming the families into our classroom. I am relieved to begin the year with my students. To set a tone of exploration, kindness, curiosity, and respect.
I’m thankful to have thousands of little lessons from last year, still circulating fresh in my mind.
I’m thankful to begin the school year with my colleagues and admin team. To take these shared steps together, lockstep in our understanding and expectations ahead of us.
I’m thankful, excited and confident to know the students and I will have more fun this year. I have greater clarity of my classroom vision and feel more able to cultivate the environment that these kids need to thrive socially, emotionally and academically.
I’m excited to teach science, writing, reading, math, art and history, but more importantly, I’m bouncing off the walls to develop scientists, authors, readers, puzzle solvers, artists and historians.
I’m thankful to have a deeper understanding of the social emotional needs of my kids, yet still scratching the surface to truly understand the immigrant and refugee experience and dynamics of the families I serve.
I’m eager to empower. To inspire. To challenge. To lift up and instill confidence. To inject and infect my students with the idea of “yet.”
“I don’t know…yet.”
“I can’t solve that…yet.”
“I can’t write that well…yet.”
I’m thankful for a talented team of educators around me, from which to draw endless ideas and knowledge.
I’m excited for students to utilize the “Kindness Wall” by recognizing kind acts performed by their classmates, because I can’t see everything.
I’m excited to help students level up in reading and math, while learning how to unlock the puzzles of their academics, behavior and personalities.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to focus my energy this school year, to dive deeper, and to, hopefully, make a more significant impact on outlook, attitudes and academic achievement of my students.
I’m excited to be a champion for my students.
The words above reflect a great amount of “what” with a sprinkle of “why.” I look forward to diving more into my “why” and “how” I hope to accomplish these desires and personal expectations in the days to come.
I’m excited and thankful to be back at it!